#unpresidentedreads Challenge 2017 discussion

The Wangs vs. the World
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January: Immigration/Refugees > The Wangs vs. the World

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Cate (catewithac) | 3 comments Is anyone else reading this for the challenge? What do you think of it so far? I really like it. If anyone is interested, I'd like to do a discussion.

Ashe Dryden (ashedryden) | 11 comments Mod
It's on my list but I don't think I'll get to it until next week

Katrin | 1 comments I Cate, I finished the book last week and I'm a bit torn about it.
What I liked is the story setup itself and the parts where the characters reflect about things, like modern art and the finance market. But I didn't like any of the characters very much and didn't find it particularly funny.
What are your thoughts so far?

Cate (catewithac) | 3 comments Katrin,

I like it so far (I'm ~50% done). There's a contrast between the POVs of the Wang children and the adult Wangs, growing up in such vastly different circumstances (rich LA kids vs. Chinese immigrants). But there are also similarities: willing to do whatever it takes to make it (whatever "make it" means to them), wanting to avoid losing face in front of others, and trying to wrap their heads around their new situation.

As someone who majored in art, and knows a little of the NY art world, Saina's story is particularly interesting to me. It brings back all the discussions we had about art and the artist. Saina's Whitney project, Power Drum Song, doesn't actually contain any art made by her. It wouldn't have existed without her arranging everything, but none of the art on display was her own. It's an interesting thing to think about: At what point does the artist become project manager and the craftsperson the real artist?

There were some bits that made me uncomfortable, like Andrew's stand-up in Austin. Uncomfortable because I could empathize with going up in front of people and totally bombing, but also uncomfortable with his "humor". I think that's good, when an author can make you feel both sympathy and discomfort for the character.

I'm hoping to finish in the next few days, so I'll update with how I feel at the end.

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